As I have noted in several previous posts, the curriculum for the Middlebury School of the Environment will include workshops offered by a wide variety of professionals who have expertise in one or more tools critical for achieving success in effecting environmental change. I am pleased to be able to announce the addition of two more Fellows for the School of the Environment, Dr. Helen Riess and Dr. Michael Kiernan.
Helen Riess, M.D., is the Chief Technology Officer of Empathetics, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. She conducts translational research using the neuroscience of emotions in educational curricula to improve empathy and relational skills in physicians and other health care providers. Dr. Riess will join the School of the Environment this summer as a Fellow to lead a workshop on “Empathy and the Environment,” building upon her innovative work on the power of empathy as both a leadership skill and a means to develop positive relationships with people in virtually any setting.
Mike Kiernan is a physician, actor, public speaker – and one today’s most energetic and engaging voices for creative leadership and communication. He will be joining the School of the Environment as a Fellow to engage with the students on persuasive communication skills. He has been an instructor in Middlebury College’s leadership and innovation training program, MiddCORE, since 2008 in all areas related to leadership and communication: crisis management, networking, story-making, and both strategic presentation design and delivery. He has also worked as a communications consultant with political candidates, physicians, business executives, and teams on leadership retreats. Mike is an actor and member of the local professional theater company, the Middlebury Actors Workshop. He is also a physician and recently was President of the Medical Staff at Porter Hospital. Mike serves on the Technical Advisory Group for the Green Mountain Care Board and the Executive Counsel of Vermont Medical Society. He is also an advisor to the State of Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee.